Double money: Rich list reveals Lionel Messi earns nearly TWICE as much as Cristiano Ronaldo
Barcelona's Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi's appearance at the top of L'Equipe's annual football salary report came as no surprise, but the disparity between his income and that of his rival Cristiano Ronaldo certainly did.
Messi was listed as earning a colossal $9.5 million per month before tax as he took the top spot on the Top 10 list published by the French sports newspaper.
Messi's colossal monthly earnings dwarfed the sum earned each month by his longtime rival and Juventus star Ronaldo, who earned $5.3 million per month before tax.
Third on the list is Atletico Madrid's French hitman Antoine Griezmann, who earns a tidy $3.8 million a month.
Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian ace Neymar ($3.5 million) came in fourth, with Messi's Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez rounding out the top five with $3.2 million.
The list was dominated by La Liga, with five of the Top 10 plying their trade in the Spanish top flight. Two Ligue Un players were included (both from PSG), along with two stars from the English Premier League. Ronaldo was the lone representative from Italy's Serie A in the Top 10.
L'EQUIPE ANNUAL FOOTBALL SALARY REPORT: TOP 10
1. LIONEL MESSI - $9.5 MILLION
2. CRISTIANO RONALDO - $5.3 MILLION
3. ANTOINE GRIEZMANN - $3.8 MILLION
4. NEYMAR - $3.5 MILLION
5. LUIS SUAREZ - $3.2 MILLION
6. GARETH BALE - $2.9 MILLION
7. PHILIPPE COUTINHO - $2.6 MILLION
8. ALEXIS SANCHEZ - $2.6 MILLION
9. KYLIAN MBAPPE - $1.9 MILLION
10. MESUT OZIL - $1.8 MILLION